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RE: [GreenYes] plastic bags - let's have some shared responsibility
Here's the web site for Cascadian Farms: .
Their focus is on organic foods, but maybe you could contact them and see if
they are open to exploring alternatives to their plastic packaging.  I wish
I knew if there WERE alternatives - but for frozen veggies, I'm not too

I really liked Melissa's story yesterday about the clerk who took back the
plastic bag and threw it away, thus defeating the entire purpose of NOT
using a's a constant process of educating people who don't know
what we know.

As committed environmentalists, we all have to make choices like yours all
the time - the organic veggies are a priority for you, but there may be a
trade-off as opposed to buying fresh veggies that aren't organic.  You have
to decide which is most important and where to pick your battles.

Trex works here on the East Coast as well - they have a plant in Winchester
VA and they buy back the bags from Giant and the other regional grocery
stores.  The problem with plastic bag collection is the space it takes to
store them - I have done the math on this, and to generate a full (40,000
lb) tractor trailer of plastic bags and other film would take close to 1
million bags (at 3/4 of an ounce each).  Even here on Fort Belvoir, with the
largest Commissary in the known world, it would take more than a year to
generate that many bags - much less collect them all, clean and dry, bale
them and store them, etc.  So we bundle them up and take them to the closest
Giant every so often, and we wish Trex could help with a regional collection
route, but so far no luck.

Keep up the good work, all!
Terri Steen

 -----Original Message-----
From: 	Anne Morse [mailto:AMorse@Co.Winona.MN.US] 
Sent:	Wednesday, May 30, 2001 3:13 PM
To:	multiple recipients of
Subject:	[GreenYes] plastic bags - let's have some shared responsibility

After thirteen years of working hard to improve our recycling programs, I am
the most frustrated with the ubiquitous plastic bags!  In addition to
showing up in our roadsides where they stay forever, they also appear
consistently in our curbside program, and are a significant contaminant
therein. Despite the fact that precious few get recycled, they even carry a
recycling logo! Enough is enough, we have simply got to improve upon our
current system for film plastic.  

To that end, I offer a simple position:  every store that uses plastic bags
in which to pack their goods should also accept them back for recycling. 

This is, of course, the fairest method of handling the bags.  If they are
used at retail because they are so cheap and easy, then the same retailer
should also bear the burden of handling them on the other end. They may well
find that the reuse and recycling options are not quite as cheap and easy. 

The grocers and retailers can easily aggregate the used bags with a bin at
the front door, as some already do.  Then, they can be backhauled on the
same trucks that bring the products to their door.

These retailers are also the only players in the whole system that have any
real leverage to ensure that the bags are recycled, because they can tell
the supplier of the bags that they won't be buying their bags unless they
also take bags back for recycling.  

What do you say, shall we make a start?

Anne Morse
Winona County Environmental Services
225 W 2nd St.
Winona, MN  55987

-----Original Message-----
From: GW K []
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 2:00 PM
To: multiple recipients of
Cc: GreenYes
Subject: RE: plastic bags - Buy a reusable cloth bag and refuse plastic
ba gs!

Unfortunetly in my case the problem isn't solved.  I
do use cloth bags and reuse plastics for wet items.
the main culprit in my world is organic frozen
vegetable bags, some companys use paper bags which I
can and do compost.  Long term, if no solution, I will
have to eliminate Cascadin Farms products but at this
point that is not viable for me.  

To GRRN folks.....What fun!!!!!  Thank you for all the
responses...SOOO nice to be able to share with you

Glen Koch
Seattle, Wa

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